At the End of the Day

The end of summer is quickly approaching, and school will start in just a couple of weeks. When I was a boy, we had an extra month over the kids today, with school starting the first week of September. That's no longer feasible as the U.S. drops farther-and-farther behind the rest of the industrialized world in education.

Keila went to Italy as a part of her education at Berry College. While there, she was required to observe in a number of Italian primary schools. She was inspired by what she saw, and horrified at how far our schools miss the mark.

Using modified Montessori models, Italian schoolrooms are places where busy groups of children cooperatively learn. They are busy, conversational, hands-on places. Here, steril classroom settings with neat rows of chairs greet children. They sit silently while information is imparted, and work endless worksheets of problems. If it sounds boring, it is because it is.

It is obvious that, for all our knowledge about how children learn, our modern schools mirror little of that learning in the way children are taught. Couple that with the frenzy of "testing," and you can easily understand why so many children simply opt out of the process of learning.

As a Christian, I am concerned for our children. Not only their spiritual growth, but their human growth as well. How can they impart their faith to others if they are not as well-educated as their counterparts from other nations? I wonder if it is not a part of the role of The Church to challenge the educational processes of our day, challenging educational leaders to make the process more exciting and stimulating. And, while we do that, should we not challenge ourselves to make the learning of The Gospel more exciting as well.

Well-educated children are the future of both The Church and our nation. It is proper that we become involved in their future.

Curtis Rivers


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